Sciencemadness Discussion Board

Making fire (youtube collaborative video)

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Chemistry Alchemist - 26-9-2011 at 08:56

yeah i watched that ages ago just couldnt remember if it made fire or just alot of heat consuming the Al, so could this be apart of the Fire with out Matches video if someone can do it?.... i would but i dont have any HCl to react with MnO2 to make Cl2... unless i can make some HCl quickly...

hkparker - 26-9-2011 at 10:03

Bromine and aluminum would be good if anyone wants to try.

For the chlorine and aluminum, because the aluminum has to be directly heated, pretty much with a torch, right before its added to the chlorine, I'm not sure its what were looking for. There are a lot of reacts that don't require additional activation energy, lets focus on those.


Also, thanks Chemistry Alchemist for his submissions I got this morning! Brake fluid and KMnO4 reactions.

[Edited on 26-9-2011 by hkparker]

White Yeti - 26-9-2011 at 15:13

I'm just throwing it out there, but ferrate (FeO4-2) is an extremely powerful oxidant, even better than permanganate. Although don't know if anyone has sufficient amounts to start a fire.... Ferrate is pretty hard to come by.

hkparker - 26-9-2011 at 18:48

The library provided some insight into ferrates. yields seem pretty low so I doubt anyone will be able to try it, but if someone can that would be awesome!

In response to MrHomeScientists suggestion to open a new thread, I think we should do that for the third video, which will not be on fire (heh pun :P). So long is the topic is on fire without matches for a video lets keep it here. After its posted (sometime in the next two months probably) we can focus on another topic.

bob800 - 28-9-2011 at 14:06

Quote: Originally posted by hkparker  

After its posted (sometime in the next two months probably) we can focus on another topic.

I have some ideas for chemical "magic tricks" that I'd be happy to record on video if there's enough interest. A few starting ideas:

-When dropping permanganate into acidic H<sub>2</sub>O<sub>2</sub>, the intense pink color immediately disappears with a satisfying fizz.

-Invisible/heat activated inks

-Pouring phenolphthalein solution into an "empty" beaker of ammonia gas.

-KI/starch "ink" which suddenly appears in a jar of chlorine

Let me now if there's any interest in this (if not, no problem;))

hkparker - 28-9-2011 at 15:42

kuro96inlaila just resubmitted his potassium and tissue fire, thanks!

Chemistry Alchemist - 28-9-2011 at 20:37

Calcium Oxide was believed to be used as a weapon to ignite a fuel

"Quicklime is also thought to have been a component of Greek fire. Upon contact with water, quicklime would increase its temperature above 150 °C and ignite the fuel"

Any ideas how this could be played out?

hkparker - 28-9-2011 at 20:47

I have wetted calcium oxide and it got really hot I remember. I dont remember it getting hot enough to light a fuel but I wasn't trying.

Try touching calcium oxide to ensure dryness. Once its cool enough to touch, I would say a few things could be tried.

Try adding 91% alcohol (of any kind). The water in it might react and burn the alcohol.

Or try a mix of small amounts of water in any flammable solvent (acetone, etc).

If that doesn't work we'll think of more.

Chemistry Alchemist - 28-9-2011 at 21:00

yeah i was thinking along the line as that as well, Many videos are out there of the properties of Calcium Oxide and water, and there is a video out there of Calcium oxide cooking a egg from its heat, so couldn't you find a low flash point solvent, lay out some CaO on a heat proof mat, lay some foil down onto the the Calcium Oxide, and poor the solvent on top of the foil, When you add the water to the CaO it produces the heat that goes on the aluminum foil which heats up the solvent passed its flash point... thus igniting the solvent and making fire.... idk... just a guess that i came up with

Chemistry Alchemist - 28-9-2011 at 21:01

I would like to try but i dont currently have CaO... tho i could try to make it if i have time

hkparker - 28-9-2011 at 21:04

Your idea is also very worth a try.

CaO is not hard to make, so I would give it a try. I made it from decomposing calcium hydroxide. You can make that from reaction of any soluble calcium salt (like its chloride) and a hydroxide. Calcium chloride can be made from calcium carbonate (which is very very easy to find) and HCl.

I would try this if I was still in a home lab.

Chemistry Alchemist - 28-9-2011 at 21:25

Yeah ive got both Calcium Carbonate and Calcium Hydroxide, ill think aboout making some i guess, and then if i do, try and experiment with it... pretty sure i have some Isopropyl alcohol, ive got some acetone and everything else i would need :)

hkparker - 28-9-2011 at 21:26

Sounds great! Looking forward to the results.

Calcium chloride from Calcim carbonate

Steve_hi - 29-9-2011 at 03:27

Hi just read your post and you say that calcium chloride is easy to make from calcium carconate. well it was nice to see something about that because I just got finished processing some calcium ammonium nitrate and have some calcium carbonate left over from the process and was wondering what to do with it could you tell me how to make the CCl Im new at this and just trying to learn chemistry for a hobby.

barley81 - 29-9-2011 at 03:43

Your calcium carbonate probably has a lot of calcium sulfate in it. It's better to go to the garden store and buy a bag of hydrated lime for really cheap, and neutralize it with muriatic acid (The lime has some magnesium hydroxide in it). If you just want calcium chloride, buy Damp-Rid at a hardware store (if you're in the US, they will probably it), it's anhydrous. Also, post off topic questions in new threads or the short questions thread.

[Edited on 29-9-2011 by barley81]

ScienceHideout - 30-9-2011 at 18:03

I can drop a tiny piece of sodium in dilute alcohol- the sodium will combust in the presence of H2O igniting the alcohol! (Similar to the calcium oxide idea I heard earlier).

hkparker - 1-10-2011 at 01:01

If that works that sounds great but it might be too finicky. I can't get sodium to light in water unless I use a little more then I'm comfortable with, and the reaction will be slower in alcohol.

Chemistry Alchemist - 1-10-2011 at 04:50

if it were possible you could use potassium instead of sodium but that could be harder to get

hkparker - 1-10-2011 at 11:56

Might be a bit more explosive then we are going for.

Chemistry Alchemist - 3-10-2011 at 19:36

I still havent managed to dehydrate Calcium hydroxide >< i can only get 400 degrees while i need 512 to dehydrate the hydroxide, but im still working on it.

I just had another random idea, i dont know if its already mentioned but im pretty sure flint it a aloy of metals, those metals used are Pyrophoric and burst into fire to make sparks, could you just soak a a tissue in alcohol or acetone and put some sparks on it? pretty sure that will work or is that too much related to TheNaKLaB's idea of Pyrophoric Iron?

hkparker - 3-10-2011 at 19:39

Do you lack a blow torch? That's what I used in a small steel measuring cup. I dont remember it being too expensive and I got it at my local hardware store, its come in handy a lot.

Repeat video and similar ideas are fine, its always nice to have a new angle on things. TheNaKLaB, when you shoot your iron onto ethanol video can you try acetone as well, and both solvents dripped onto a paper towel?

If you can make iron oxalate then I would say give it a try as well, its a good idea.

Chemistry Alchemist - 3-10-2011 at 19:55

yeah i do lack on :/ my birthday is in 2 days and im hoping i got a oxytorch from bunnings, its used to weld copper so it reaches around 2000 degrees C, more then enough for dehydrating calcium hydroxide.

Id love to have make iron oxelate but i dont have oxalic acid yet

hkparker - 3-10-2011 at 19:58

Oxy torches are fun (I had an oxy/MAPP torch, it was awesome) but rarely useful. The flame is too powerful (you will start to need to worry about being in a steel container) and very small, so it only heats a confined area. Lastly, you get maybe 10-15 minutes out of those expensive oxygen tanks. Be sure to pick up a standard propane torch as well.

I had that, a trigger start MAPP torch, and my oxy/MAPP one. I used the propane and MAPP about as often as each other, and pretty often. I used the oxy one a few times.

Happy Birthday! :D

Chemistry Alchemist - 3-10-2011 at 20:06

yeah i cant remember the other fuel that is mixed in with the oxygen but its a copper welding torch so it would do the job easly, i did have a mini one as you would see in my White phosphorus video but after a while the compressed butane was cooling the hose connecting the chamber to the igniter end and i had a leak, few was been spitted out the other end, so i discarded it unfortunately :/ yeah im finally turning 18 :D

Formatik - 4-10-2011 at 23:26

I don't think anyone has submitted red fuming nitric acid and nitrile glove. I remember trying some of this acid on a pile of sawdust, which is said to ignite, but it didn't.

A mixture of sugar and PbO2 in a small amount of alcohol should ignite the alcohol when a drop or two conc. H2SO4 contacts the solid mixture (ground separately). I don't know if it would work while the solid mixture is wet with alcohol, or if the solid mix has to be quickly put on the alcohol layer before it all becomes wet, or must be nearby. PbO2 (or something very close to it) is very simple to make from hypochlorite and a soluble lead salt. But note that alcohol flames can hardly or not be seen in the daylight, esp. under sunlight (colorants like metal chlorides, CuSO4, or boric acid add visibility to the flame).

For the exotic, KMnO4 and previous fuels mentioned in this thread like triethanolamine or benzaldehyde are known to work. If one is feeling more explorative then polar aprotics also already previously mentioned in this thread or not (like propylene carbonate) might also give reaction with KMnO4.

hkparker - 4-10-2011 at 23:34

Nitrile gloves and RFNA made it into the last video.

The lead one sounds really interesting, are you going to give it a try?

Formatik - 4-10-2011 at 23:51

Brain fog moment.

I don't know about trying that reaction. I don't have a recording camera for the time being.

Bot0nist - 6-10-2011 at 18:34

I am not sure if you have any entries of KClO<sub>3</sub> + fuel + H<sub>2</sub>SO<sub>4</sub> = fire yet, but I just made three short videos of chlorate with cellulose, chlorate with sugar, and chlorate suspended in 91% IPA. All ignited with a drop of concentrated sulfuric acid. Each clip is about 10 seconds long.

I tossed 'em up on my little youtube channel for you to see. If your interested I would love for them to be edited together and subtitled or something. I know little about making digital videos, it seems simple though.

hkparker - 6-10-2011 at 18:51

Thanks for the contribution Bot0nist, I'll add it in. We have had a few chlorate + fuel + H2SO4 reactions so far but the cotton and IPA are new.

Chemistry Alchemist - 7-10-2011 at 07:01

pretty sure ill have to wait a bit longer to do my video... i didnt get the torch >< but im hoping to buy it next time i go to hard ware store :)

Chemistry Alchemist - 8-10-2011 at 22:19

Would white phosphorus on a acetone soaked towel work? im gonna try it now and see if it works

Chemistry Alchemist - 8-10-2011 at 22:57

ok, so it worked, took about 15 minutes for the WP to dry but i stopped recording because battery was low and then it ignited >< what bad luck i had :/ i dont think i have enough WP to do it agian tho

hkparker - 8-10-2011 at 23:07

Yea that would work. White phosphorus by itself would do it.

We have no footage of WP so that would be great if you (or anyone) could make more and film it.

Chemistry Alchemist - 8-10-2011 at 23:17

Is there a way to make it through phosphoric acid? i have alot of phosphoric acid, can i make WP with it?

hkparker - 8-10-2011 at 23:23

See the phosphorus thread. Easily? No not at all.

Formatik - 15-10-2011 at 21:53

The idea of PbO2 and sugar on alcohol didn't work. Putting the mixture on an alcohol-moist tissue gave only crackling and spitting when the H2SO4 was added, and didn't ignite it. The alcohol interfered with the reaction.

But here are two videos to add. The first is a just a mixture of PbO2 and fine cane sugar in a 3:1 respective mass ratio, ignited by drops of conc. H2SO4. This mixture will ignite solids though: the second video is a pile of the same PbO2/sugar mixture in a pile of a mixture of KNO3 with fine cane sugar (3.5:1 respective mass ratio of KNO3 to sugar), conc. H2SO4 is dropped onto it and ignites the stronger burning nitrate mixture.

This time for the PbO2 I just added solid Pb(NO3)2 to excess aq. NaClO and boiled it on a hot plate for several minutes. The product was a lot lighter than last time, being medium brown in color.

I also tried something with the boranes, but had no luck there. There's some info B2H6, B4H10, B5H9, etc. on wiki. They are said to be self-igniting with air. They are very toxic.

I burned H3BO3 on an iron plate with a torch until it became glassy, then added a small amount of 40 mesh Mg powder (note finely divided B2O3 and Mg is a flash powder!), and then burned the Mg into the lump. Then turned the B2O3 lump around and then did the same, and let it cool.

I took a chunk of the cooled lump and tossed it into 54% HNO3, it only gave off nitrogen oxides. Taking the rest amount and dumping it into water gave some mild effervescence and bubbles, but no other reaction. There was a foul odor though, meaning some boranes did form.

[Edited on 16-10-2011 by Formatik]

hkparker - 15-10-2011 at 22:32

Thanks for the submissions, I will add them to the video!

Here is a pretty chart for how submissions stand as for now for part 2:
<br /><br />
<img src="" />
<br />
Submitter being the person who originally suggested it, of course anyone is free to work on anything.

I'm very excited with the amount of interest in part 2! This is just about as big as part 1 already, and for sure will be when the in progress videos get finished.


Formatik just added a DMSO + KMnO4 video, thanks!

[Edited on 16-10-2011 by hkparker]

Chemistry Alchemist - 15-10-2011 at 23:22

I know this is a lame idea but how about Magnifying glass to some tissue maybe soaked in something flammable? concentrating heat into one spot, rising the flashpoint of a solvent causing it to ignite? or isnt it chemistry enough? haha

Chemistry Alchemist - 15-10-2011 at 23:45

how about fire with a match and a magnifying glass? or doesnt that count? worked nicely on cam :P

hkparker - 17-10-2011 at 12:52

Its probably not chemistry related enough. Its cool but seeing as no chemical reaction caused the match to ignite I would say probably not. Unless everyone disagrees.


There were a few errors on the chart I posted, thanks to everyone who pointed them out.
#7 is 90% DMSO and KMnO4
#22 is cotton and chlorate ignited by H2SO4

I have made (as far as I can tell) about $40 off the video which is to be donated to SM. I messages Polverone, who said he has enough to keep SM going for a few years and that it might be better spent on our project, but I don't think this would be much money to send back to everyone, and we already agreed on SM so I'll be sending that in soon.

Chemistry Alchemist - 18-10-2011 at 06:53

yeah thats fine, it shows the composition of a match can self ignite at high temperatures... you should try grinding match heads with red phosphorus, it creates a mini explosion and a puff of smoke meaning there was a explosion of fire but was reallly quick :P but that spoils the point of fire with out matches...

SmashGlass - 18-10-2011 at 07:26

Quote: Originally posted by ScienceHideout  
I can drop a tiny piece of sodium in dilute alcohol- the sodium will combust in the presence of H2O igniting the alcohol! (Similar to the calcium oxide idea I heard earlier).

I love that reaction. It always brings a smile to my face.
We've had a few accidental fires started in our lab that way with the techies. Obviously the scales
I am talking about were slightly larger. Hehehe. Sodium quenches are always fun... Cuz I'm usually
holding the fire extinguisher when there is a new lab technician.

Another method I've found that is good is taking about 100 mL Pet ether (70-80C grade) in a 500 mL
beaker, swirl this round a few times then pour that back into the flask. It just coats the glass then add
a few ml of water to cover the bottom and toss in a sliver of sodium, about the size of a finger nail end
you might have bitten off. (It's a crude analogy but you get the idea hopefully).
If you don't chew your nails, then you must be very confident of your chemistry abilities and of those around you.
Make sure the oil has been cleaned off the sodium using a smaller beaker and a few ml of the pet ether.

It makes a loud "POP", a bright flash and a light blue flame appears which burns out in about 20 seconds.
Not overly dangerous on that scale but nice to get the attention of others in a dim lecture hall on the first day
of the organic chemistry class.

hkparker - 18-10-2011 at 09:05

I'm surprised this works that well, that's awesome! Feel free to submit a video anyone, I think that would make a good contribution.

Bot0nist - 18-10-2011 at 16:33
Here you are. I have never used megaupload, I hope it works.

I wanted to scale up the reaction a tad to make them more interesting, but in my first two attempts with the IPA mix I observed what very much to me sounded like detonations. Unexpected detonation like sounds make me very jumpy.

hkparker - 18-10-2011 at 16:59

Quote: Originally posted by Bot0nist
Here you are. I have never used megaupload, I hope it works.

I wanted to scale up the reaction a tad to make them more interesting, but in my first two attempts with the IPA mix I observed what very much to me sounded like detonations. Unexpected detonation like sounds make me very jumpy.

Thanks! I'll put in a note to keep the IPA scaled down.

Chemistry Alchemist - 21-10-2011 at 05:25

Was just reading up on Ammonia and came across this;

"Ignition occurs when chlorine is passed into ammonia, forming nitrogen and hydrogen chloride; if chlorine is present in excess, then the highly explosive nitrogen trichloride (NCl<sub>3</sub>;) is also formed."

I dont know if it ignites on its own but it sounds like it does... rekon it deserves to be tested?

hkparker - 21-10-2011 at 10:23

carefully. I would say if someone has 30% NH4OH so put a few ml in a beaker and feed some Cl2 in, see what happens.

Ammonia will also ignite if touched by hot platinum, but I don't know if anyone has access to a platinum wire.

Chemistry Alchemist - 21-10-2011 at 10:33

How hot would the wire have to be?

hkparker - 21-10-2011 at 10:33

torched, I've seen it done and it was glowing.

Neil - 21-10-2011 at 11:20

I have some Pt wire, the same trick works with a jet of butane. I can do a video of it in a few days.

Some "wind proof lighters" have a coil of what appears to be platinum across the fuel orifice...

hkparker - 21-10-2011 at 11:21

awesome, that would be great thanks!

Chemistry Alchemist - 21-10-2011 at 21:12

In a few days i can try the Ammonia and Chlorine and see if its possible

Chemistry Alchemist - 21-10-2011 at 21:32

Oh and would Nitrogen Trichloride form just by mixing the gases or from the combustion of the 2?

hkparker - 21-10-2011 at 21:37

well if they don't combust, and you keep adding Cl2 then NCl3 will form. But I would suspect NH2Cl and NHCl2 would also form as Cl2 concentration increases. I doubt it will combust but give it a try, and be careful.

Formatik - 21-10-2011 at 21:52

Nitrogen trichloride is a very volatile, highly explosive, nauseating, powerful tear gas liquid. I've never tried to form it by combining the two gases, though I've made it before several times.

I was considering using NCl3 for a demonstration for the video project, but I think the compound is too hazardous.

I would be cautious about trying this combination because it could end in an explosion. NCl3 is not the kind of compound that ignites, but explodes only.

Chemistry Alchemist - 21-10-2011 at 22:14

yeah, ill make it a safe way somehow

Chemistry Alchemist - 22-10-2011 at 00:59


Ill that that into consideration when doing this, ill try and be as far back as possible when i try and proform this... i have some ideas already on how im going to do it... so the production of either gas is done on its own while im far back incase of a explosion

Chemistry Alchemist - 24-10-2011 at 04:58

Chlorine and Hydrogen... in a plastic bag and take a picture of it with a camera with flash on... very quick explosion (light is produced from the heat probly a bit of fire)

could this be included or dont explosive reactions work?

hkparker - 24-10-2011 at 09:40

Too explosive, we want flames that could be used to start a fire easily. Good find though, that was pretty interesting!

mr.crow - 24-10-2011 at 09:52

You already have a video of chlorine and acetylene, this one isn't any different. The interesting thing is the fire is initiated by light.

Burning hydrogen in a chlorine atmosphere would also be really cool

White Yeti - 13-11-2011 at 07:15

Quote: Originally posted by liubinafc  
There is no such thing as genius; it is nothing but labour and diligence.

Right, but what does it have to do with fire?

hkparker - 13-11-2011 at 09:24

Well that's interesting spam!

But I have been meaning to come back here and write something for a few days...

The thread has been silent for a while, so I wanted to see how everyone who was in progress with something was doing. That would be Chemistry Alchemist, TheNakLaB, barley81, and woelen (see the chart on the last page). Of course there is no time limit but I feel that with those videos completed we would have enough to make a rough draft of the video. Just checking in :)

Morgan - 13-11-2011 at 15:10

I know sparks aren't an exciting way to make fire, but this one is kind of a big spark for being fairly simple. Instead of rubbing two sticks together or smacking rocks against each other, it's rubbing a few paper towels over some PVC. And there are so many variables you can play with.

I found I needed a longer charging rod because getting shocked while charging the device is kind of attention getting. ha

barley81 - 14-11-2011 at 10:18

I have not made any fire yet. School takes up a lot of my time. I will try, but I cannot do any chemistry (physically unable) until around Thanksgiving. Then I will have enough time. I'm thinking of chromyl chloride and sulfur (maybe plastic, gooey sulfur might make fire?). In regard to the quicklime/wet fuel experiment, my Ca(OH)<sub>2</sub> all turned into CaCO<sub>3</sub> and cannot be converted to quicklime with my blowtorch and a crucible. I'll try to get some quicklime from my teacher and see if it works with wet alkyl nitrites with added acid sometime.

hkparker - 14-11-2011 at 10:39

Ok. Like I said there is no hurry, just wanted to keep updated. My tries with sulfur and chroyl chloride were never very successful, but good luck! I never tried the other allotrope.

hkparker - 2-12-2011 at 17:42

TheNakLaB just uploaded pyrophoric iron into ethanol and it looked awesome! Thanks!

TheNaKLaB - 2-12-2011 at 17:44

Thats ok :) I'll upload the original to mega upload so you have the whole video

hkparker - 2-12-2011 at 17:45

Its fine, I downloaded it from youtube and took out the beginning and end. The slow motion looks good with it, its perfect for the video.

TheNaKLaB - 2-12-2011 at 17:47

Alright awesome. I made heaps of Iron Oxalate that I can turn to Pyrophoric Iron. What other things should I combust with it?

hkparker - 2-12-2011 at 17:48

Try anything you think will work well, so long as its safe. Acetone maybe. Nitrocellulose would be cool if you have some.

TheNaKLaB - 2-12-2011 at 17:50

Alright awesome. I'll get back to you when I've filmed some other videos on it. How many videos do you have now for the second episode?

hkparker - 2-12-2011 at 17:53

16. but make as many as you want, once people have seen the reaction fully once I can quickly show it with a variety of other flammables.

Last video (which, at 13 minutes, we don't need to be as long as) had 24 videos.

Bot0nist - 2-12-2011 at 21:15

A few more KClO3 with various fuels if interested. Glycerin, ibuprofen, carbon. No flame on carbon, loud popping though.




Chemistry Alchemist - 3-12-2011 at 01:32

Sorry i havent been doing anything... i havent had luck decomposing calcium carbonate or hydroxide... when are you posting the next video? im getting a copper welding blow torch for christmas

hkparker - 3-12-2011 at 01:52

Thanks Bot! I'll add them to the list.

@Chemistry Alchemist Don't worry about it, no one is required to submit at all. We will post the video whenever we all decide we have enough, which should be relatively soon, hopefully I can get to editing a final draft in about a month. I will wait for you to give that experiment a try. A few other people have said they are working on things as well.

hkparker - 8-12-2011 at 02:11

Thank you to TheNaKLaB for another great contribution, ethanol poured into steel wool and touched by a 9V battery.

Formatik - 27-12-2011 at 22:10

I've read ammonium persulfate and sodium sulfide were supposed to ignite upon being mixed. I've tried it with the potassium salt instead. But mixing K2S2O8 with sodium sulfide in small amounts caused no reaction. This mixture did not even produce any strong reaction when heated over a flame, with KNO3 in the same instance, the sulfide melted then exploded under liberation of fire and sparks.

I gave boranes another try using a non-oxidizing acid. I used the same boride containing material mentioned earlier. I added this to aq. HCl and this effervesced strongly, then I held flame over it but got not really any reaction (it seemed like there were traces of boranes, and there was a bad odor). I did this several times with flame, but got no reaction.

There is a variation I've found to the KBrO3 and sugar mixture, where sucrose (manna also) burns with a quick white-blue flame, xylitol in mixture with KBrO3 burned with a transparent and completely blue flame. I don't know if I'll be able to record this, but if another member has KBrO3, they can do it. A drop of H2SO4 should also ignite it.

hkparker - 9-1-2012 at 00:16

Ok, its been about a month since I said about a month, so I'm ready to get started on the editing. If anyone has something they would like to add let me know and ill wait, otherwise I'll start editing in one week.

Hexavalent - 9-1-2012 at 08:57

How can I contribute? I was thinking steel wool soaked in EtOH and sticking a battery's terminals onto the wool. If I film it can it go in?

MrHomeScientist - 9-1-2012 at 09:49

Apologies if this was already mentioned higher up.

PeriodicVideos just posted a new video today that I thought would be great for this project: Chromium trioxide and ethanol

If anyone has CrO3, this would be pretty neat to see. Wiki states it can be made from sodium dichromate and sulfuric acid. I have potassium dichromate, which I'm sure will work just as well, so maybe I'll give making CrO3 a try. Feel free to go on editing your video though, I won't be able to do it any time soon most likely. Eager to see the new collab!

fledarmus - 9-1-2012 at 10:04

This may have already been mentioned - I know organolithium reagents as a class have been, but I wanted to specifically mention t-butyl lithium, usually sold as a 1.5M solution in pentane. This material is usually handled either by oven-dried glass syringes or by cannulla, and if you take a small amount up in a syringe and spray it through the air, it will ignite as it leaves the needle. It is considerably more pyrophoric than the other typical organolithium reagents such as methyllithium, phenyllithium, and n-butyllithium.

[Edited on 9-1-2012 by fledarmus]

Hexavalent - 9-1-2012 at 10:25

Can anyobdy therefore point me to a UK source for such reagents? I've got a few experiments I'd like to try that also use t-butyl lithium as they specify a tertiary alcohol-based organolithium reagent.

hkparker - 9-1-2012 at 12:59

We have a video of an ethanol soaked steel wool being touched by a battery, but as always more footage doesn't hurt.

I don't remember seeing chromium oxide and ethanol, but that would make a cool demonstration! How soon do you think you could give it a try? It is probably worth waiting for.

t-butyl lithium's flammability has really gotten some publicity as of late hasn't it? Be very careful if anyone tries this, but that too would be interesting to demonstrate.

If you're looking for reagents use the search engine in Reagent and Apparatus Acquisition, UK sources have most likely been discussed there before.

MrHomeScientist - 9-1-2012 at 13:35

I'll be busy tonight and tomorrow, so this weekend is about the earliest I could try. It depends on how much success I have making the CrO3 from what I have, never tried it before.

Using potassium dichromate and conc. sulfuric acid, the reaction should be
H2SO4 + K2Cr2O7 → 2CrO3 + K2SO4 + H2O

Looks like I can separate the products via solubility - CrO3 is more soluble, though solubilities of both compounds don't change much with temperature. The best I could do would be pretty impure, using this method. According to wiki, solubilities in g/100ml of water:

0 C________61.7______11.1
25 C_______63.0______12.0
100 C______67.0______24.0

Edit: Actually, there's mention of CrO3 being subject to hydrolysis when dissolved in water. Would this destroy my product? Any other separation methods anyone can think of?

[Edited on 1-9-2012 by MrHomeScientist]

[Edited on 1-9-2012 by MrHomeScientist]

Morgan - 11-1-2012 at 09:40

A bit bulky, but a fire starter. I would use methanol though, the fuel/air ratio much more forgiving.
The electrophorus of S. Kamachi

[Edited on 11-1-2012 by Morgan]

Formatik - 14-1-2012 at 06:23

Quote: Originally posted by MrHomeScientist  
Edit: Actually, there's mention of CrO3 being subject to hydrolysis when dissolved in water. Would this destroy my product? Any other separation methods anyone can think of?

Of course, wiki doesn't tell how to purify the trioxide from the H2SO4. The extraction is described by Mellor a bit (link may not be viewable to European servers). The chromium trioxide can be rinsed of H2SO4 using the conc. nitric acid, this can make it more reactive owing to chromyl nitrate impurities.

Ethanol is not the must for the reaction, other alcohols work also. Ketones are also said to ignite more or less vigorously. Polar aprotic solvents can react violently. Brake fluid might do something. CrO3 is more reactive after it has been crushed. Beware also of contamination with any organics whatever container it is put into.

If you don't have glass wool, you should be able to use a piece of insulation that was boiled in excess Piranha's acid for some time to destroy organics that were present. I've used this to filter nitrosyl pechlorate which is more violently reactive than CrO3.

There may be some parallels to reactivity to chromyl chloride which also ignites methanol or ethanol on contact, turpentine also. If pure, CrO3 is in the long term much more storage stable, but the chloride isn't. Nasty carcinogens both of them.

UnintentionalChaos - 14-1-2012 at 08:30

I have a small quantity of CrO3 already and would be willing to try it out.

turd - 14-1-2012 at 10:04

CrO3 is more reactive after it has been crushed.
Huh? Has anyone of you ever worked with CrO3? Do you realize how hygroscopic that stuff is?
And yes, ethanol ignites in contact with CrO3 as anybody who wiped CrO3 spills with an ethanol soaked paper towel can tell you. Been there, done that, don't see the point.

I wouldn't be surprised if it even works with K2CrO4.

[Edited on 14-1-2012 by turd]

Formatik - 14-1-2012 at 15:59

Crushed CrO3 is known to be more receptive towards a reaction with some materials. I'm not talking about crushing it and then letting it stand, but right after it has been crushed. You can see CrO3 being crushed in the video above.

UnintentionalChaos, anything you want to try out with it would be good. If others are experimenting too it may be good to also use the other alcohols or compounds and maybe try to avoid doing the same reaction.

I'm wondering if CrO3 and red fuming nitric acid form a stronger oxidant together, like KMnO4 and red fuming nitric acid which inflames alcohols and turpentine. Chlorate and red fuming nitric acid also form a more violent oxidant, unstable, decomposing, transient species (maybe NO2+ClO3-) which oxidizes alcohols utmost violently.

If I had any chromium (VI) compounds now I would have tried out some reactions with it, but I have really exposed myself to enough toxins, so that chromyl chloride was the only Cr(6+) compound I've ever handled which I had to make from pottery-grade Cr2O3.

Useful to those who know German. Gmelin, Chrom(VI)oxid.

Formatik - 15-1-2012 at 10:30

Here is the KBrO3 and xylitol reaction ignited by H2SO4:

KBrO3xylitol.png - 325kB

The reaction looked different in smaller amounts, but here it looks similar the sugar mix. The mass ratio was 2:1 KBrO3 to xylitol.

The earlier mentioned ratio of KNO3 to sugar that was ignited by the PbO2 mix probably was not so important, since it seems nitrate was likely in excess.

hkparker - 15-1-2012 at 19:15

Thanks for the video Formatik!

That would be awesome if you gave it a try UC, I think CrO3 would produce some great reactions with a variety of fuels.

#maverick# - 17-1-2012 at 15:43
kclo3 + hno3 oxidizing ethanol ^
KMnO4 + HNO3 + ethanol

hkparker - 7-2-2012 at 02:19

Alright, I'm going to start the editing process now. The only video I might be waiting on is the CrO3 from UnintentionalChaos. Should I expect that video in a couple of weeks? If so I'll wait but wannna wrap up any new submissions, otherwise I'll start now.

Thanks for the continued contributions everyone!

Vikascoder - 7-2-2012 at 08:37

The most oldest way alkaline metal + water

Vikascoder - 7-2-2012 at 08:39

Nitric acid + turpentine oil burst into flame . Nitric acid + charcoal also starts a fire

Vikascoder - 7-2-2012 at 08:40

What about chloric or perchloric reacting with organic materials

UnintentionalChaos - 7-2-2012 at 10:38

Quote: Originally posted by hkparker  
Alright, I'm going to start the editing process now. The only video I might be waiting on is the CrO3 from UnintentionalChaos. Should I expect that video in a couple of weeks? If so I'll wait but wannna wrap up any new submissions, otherwise I'll start now.

Thanks for the continued contributions everyone!

Sorry, I forgot! I'll get on that.

UnintentionalChaos - 10-2-2012 at 00:16

Can't edit anymore...

Special Scimad preview of my contributions!

Formatik - 13-2-2012 at 00:56

I didn't think anyone would do it but just mentioned it as an aside but I would not add to the project reaction of alcohol and acid chlorate mentioned above, and I know it well and will say this since it is not an ignition reaction and there are too many noobs on YouTube for something so vigorous.

In all experiments, the amounts should be kept small in the milligram range away from any combustible surroundings to help prevent unwanted fires. Especially important to keep it small with nitric acid plus permanganate and a fuel.

I speak from good experience in saying to keep the amounts small and the igniting material away from nearby combustibles. This is what I like in UC's videos, the controlled nature in which he carried out the experiments. Nothing nearby can readily catch fire.

Quote: Originally posted by Vikascoder  
What about chloric or perchloric reacting with organic materials

Too violent for the making fire idea.

Quote: Originally posted by Vikascoder  
Nitric acid + turpentine oil burst into flame .

Not in small amounts, here is the reaction of red fuming nitric acid (d= 1.48) with turpentine with the latter being dumped into the acid:

As we can see it spatters vigorously and sprays and ejects and gives off gas, but it does not ignite. Permanganate makes the difference as mentioned on page 11. Repost of working link to turpentine + nitric acid and permanganate reaction.

Turpentine flames burn with very visible orange flames and black smoke and so it's easy to tell no ignition occurred.

[Edited on 13-2-2012 by Formatik]

UnintentionalChaos - 13-3-2012 at 16:11

*taps foot impatiently* c'mon hkparker. :P
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